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Life in Christ

443

A

rticle

7

THE VIRTUES

1803

“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just,

whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there

is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about

these things.”

62

Avirtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good.

It allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the

best of himself. The virtuous person tends toward the good with

all his sensory and spiritual powers; he pursues the good and

chooses it in concrete actions.

The goal of a virtuous life is to become like God.

63

I.

T

he

H

uman

V

irtues

1804

Human virtues

are firm attitudes, stable dispositions, habit-

ual perfections of intellect and will that govern our actions, order

our passions, and guide our conduct according to reason and faith.

They make possible ease, self-mastery, and joy in leading a morally

good life. The virtuous man is he who freely practices the good.

The moral virtues are acquired by human effort. They are

the fruit and seed of morally good acts; they dispose all the powers

of the human being for communion with divine love.

The cardinal virtues

1805

Four virtues play a pivotal role and accordingly are called

“cardinal”; all the others are grouped around them. They are:

prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. “If anyone loves

righteousness, [Wisdom’s] labors are virtues; for she teaches tem-

perance and prudence, justice, and courage.”

64

These virtues are

praised under other names in many passages of Scripture.

62

Phil

4:8.

63 St. Gregory of Nyssa,

De beatitudinibus,

1: PG 44, 1200D.

64

Wis

8:7.

1733

1768

2500

1827